If smoking dope makes you stupid and slow, how come the organizers of the Million Marijuana March are geared up and ready to go, while City Hall has been stuck in a purple haze? At issue are the permits for the May 1 demonstration, a highly ambitious affair featuring a rally on Public Square, march to the Justice Center (where protesters will encircle the building with a human chain to show support for jailed cannabis users), and concluding festivities in the park at West 3rd and Lakeside. "The bureaucracy is stalling us," insists John Hartman, the not-paranoid president of the Northcoast chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. Not so, says Department of Parks, Recreation, and Properties Special Events Manager Judy Zamlen-Spotts, who fears a mega-event. "John says he expects a thousand people, but at similar events around the country, they've been getting 10,000-15,000 people," she says. "That poses special safety concerns, which is what's holding this up." Whatever the numbers, Hartman isn't just blowing smoke. "If we have a permit, we can do one type of march," he promises. "If we don't have a permit--well, we'll do the same type of march. We'll just have to worry about being busted."
Dodging tourist traffic isn't normally a problem on the beautiful North Coast. But townies would be well-advised to watch out for crazed, ravenous tourists this summer, who are sure to be red-hot about the bonehead list of Cleveland's best restaurants in the April Bon Appetit: The Blue Point Grille, Fat Cats, Harry Corvairs, Jeso, Lola, Tutto a Posto, Watermark, and Cena Copa. Regretfully, Cena Copa has been closed since January. And chef-of-record Matthew Cheselka is long gone from Fat Cats. Maybe it should be Boner Appetit.
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